[ reviews ]

addy6. Addy en el país de las frutas y los chunches [ rec. 1996 ]

> rel. 1997 - CD ND, USA
>> res. 2002 - CD Alien8 Recordings, Canada ()
Francisco López "Addy en el pais de las frutas y los chunches" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2002)
At this point an introduction hardly seems necessary. Madrid, Spain's Francisco López has developed his art over the last 20 some years to the point that he is rarely met or challenged. Much of this due to his ever-burgeoning collection of incredible releases on labels all over the world as well as a relentless schedule of concert, festival appearances and collaborations.

We have already presented two separate releases by López in his on-going series of untitled recordings: "untitled #104", the death metal release, and "untitled #123". We are very pleased to be able to announce the availability of the artist's most astonishing recorded work yet!"Addy en el país de las frutas y los chunches" was originally released in an edition of 500 copies on the ND label in 1997.

This release is most comparable to efforts that centered more on the environmental aspects of artist's work and is somewhat comparable to releases such as "La Selva" and "Untitled Music for Geography". "AddyS1" was the first American release by López and to this day remains the artist's favorite release.
The sound world created and captured by Francisco López on this recording is absolutely incredible, a beautifully horrifying listening experience. This could very possibly be one of the most important ambient records of the last 10 years and truly reinvents the concept of field recordings.

Without a doubt, this could easily serve as some of the most effective soundtrack music ever. This recording transcends mundane aural experiences. The listener will recognize many sounds but will have never quite heard them like this. It is environmental music without even the slightest influence of New Age. Far from it, this is much more in the area of massive drone music or even at times dark ambient. It should also be an important release for fans of electro-acoustic music. It is astonishing how many sounds are perceivable and coming from every direction. Listening to this in the dark would probably prove to be too mind bending for many people.

As you know by now, Alien8 Recordings greatly admires the work and vision of Francisco López. Having already released two previous recordings and having presented five live events, we couldn't be happier than the prospect of re-issuing one the artist's most substantial recorded offerings. We have reworked the packaging with the input of López and are pleased to that the reissue will be one of the few López release to feature full-colour artwork. Alien8 Recordings press release (Canada, January 2003)

Francisco López "Addy en el pais de las frutas y los chunches" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2002)
Francisco López is one of those artists who is amazingly prolific (he's released over 120 works on 80 different labels around the world), yet has also managed to stay pretty much under-the-radar in terms of how many people actually know about his work. An artist of many different conceptual themes and ideas, his work mainly falls under the minimal ambient / musique concrete category, but he brings a wide range of sound to the pallete, including (but not limited to) field recordings, digitally-manipulated sound, and even bits of acoustic instruments. He's recorded minimal deep-gong hits in an empty silo, has stacked layer upon layer of metal riffs for sheer dissonance, and has divided listeners worldwide with his approach (some of his works are downright inaudible for the majority of their running time).
Addy En El Pais De Las Frutas Y Los Chunches is actually a re-release of what many consider one of his best works, a super-dark rush of manipulated field recordings from Costa Rica, Buenos Aires, and a whole slew of other exotic locations. Any thoughts you may have of this simply being new-age background music that you could pick up from any tourist track are almost immediately quashed, as the disc dives into an abyss of slightly unsettling sounds and stays there for a majority of its 3 track, almost 60-minute running time.
Like some of his other releases, the disc starts with the sounds of what could have possibly been a field recording of a rainforest at one time. The album-titled track opens with the faint drone of an organic place before what sounds like a rumble of thunder rips through and a wall of noise comes rushing through. Though processed digitally (and retaining features of that), it sounds like the collected sounds of crickets, a rainstorm, a raging river, and other small life all pushing forward at some faster-than-evolutionary pace. Throughout the track, López takes away certain elements once in awhile to expose the others underneath, and just as you think the wall of sound will continue for too long, it drops off into quiet again, as if you were falling through the loud canopy and cacophony of sound before being submerged underwater and hearing everything continue above through the muffled liquid of your surroundings.
As I've already mentioned above, this is a minimal record. There are no melodies to hook you, and there isn't any percussion. It's the sampling of pure nature sounds and then turning them into something slightly different. López takes the sound of small bugs and makes them overwhelming, or amplifies the sound of a quiet stream of runoff, brining things to the foreground which would be relegated to tranquil background sounds on most enviromental releases. His study in extremes (both with the aformentioned tweaking, and with many dynamic shifts from quiet to loud) is one of the thing that sets him apart from other total ambient drifters. Even with the organic sounds, though, it's mostly uneasy listening as gutteral noises creep through subterrain passages and silent washes are overtaken with almost violent clambors of noise. Fans of more stripped-down work by Coil should take note, this is often times very creepy stuff. www.almostcool.org (2003)

Francisco López "Addy en el pais de las frutas y los chunches" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2002)
1. Blindfolded and whipped, from a sudden cacaphony, a burst of sound, then hollowed, echoed, thinned out, transient time ñ down to what appears, in the ears, to be silence: but it is other, it recognises the impossibility of degree zero sound, it is a quiet pool of sparse reflection. Humming the hymns of grating surfaces.

A subsumed trickle of extended low-frequency sinewaves produce a listening experience qualitatively different in accordance with the technology in use: from headphones, the reminiscent and treated, unrepresentable higher-frequency sounds weave overtop a deafening absence of silence as the headphone cones struggle to embody the shaved precision of a bass frequency that begins to twist and turn in only occasionally audible timbres. With proper studio monitors, the bass flutters the nerves, sets afire the body and redefines the arc of sound in the room. Keyboard taps become libretto to the omnipresent monstrosity of perfection found in this bass, the windows vibrate occassionally, and I lapse into dream.

2. Bees. Swarming, incapable of numerical calculation, pulsed by a repetitive thump, dangerous, backdrop against the jungle, one swarms closer. Thud is heartbeat. Double-pump pulse, increasing in tempo. Thinning out the horizon of breath. Breathing the bees into the lungs: sudden swallow opens, the world reduces its sound to thunder and rain.

The slow entrance of the bee and the heart dance quietly over a microscopic terrain designed to entrance the listener and extend movement. Like the previous piece, the listener turns up the volume in an attempt to hear the detail. Leaning forward and poised: the listener's body ñ bees. Then Thunder. Thunder of the gods, even, as my studio monitors performed 4" cone-movements in the re-articulation of the jungle's response to the haunting growl of the clouds.

3. The churning of a violent water, drawn from a windswept cave to the sudden and vicious movement ñ in all directions ñ of a tidepool facing a sudden rain, monsoon, the wrath of a god or of Aguirre. The supreme anarchic beauty of fluidic destruction.

None of this is represented in sound. The sounds are directly of the movement and motion of waves: water waves, sound waves: the two are one and the same, although the medium of transmission mediates the construction and reception ñ the limitless context ñ of the body's engagement with sound. Thus the difference between being there and becoming the sound through sine waves is the dance of the body. The body serves as waystation of difference. It is the difference in sound itself ñ and so we all hear this CD differently.

4. Purely not theoretical conjecture, the final end of this CD corresponds to López's performances: the ever-increasing sound, the lulls and dips of the chartography carved out in curves and swathes of field recordings, treated with an elemental conceptual debt to intuitive precision, then CUT. www.dustedmagazine.com (2003)

Francisco López "Addy en el pais de las frutas y los chunches" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2002)
Far from being one of the many Francisco López albums of inaudible activity and near silence, "Addy En Elpais De Las Frutas Y Los Chunches" is an epic construction of densely layered field recordings. Originally released in an edition of 500 copies on ND back in 1997, this album has been long out of print. However, López' insistence of this being his favorite composition to date perhaps prompted Alien 8 to pull this title back into circulation. Despite the obviousness to López' source material (i.e. wind, rain storms, cricket choruses, and other natural phenomenon), the strategies that he uses to collage all of these materials are wholly synthetic and purposefully theatrical. So much so, that Allan thought this was an experimental track from the pummelling necro-metal outfit Anaal Nathrakh! Indeed, López has amplified the horrific elements of these natural sounds, extending his definition of 'acousmatic music' as not simply disguising the source material but rendering it hallucinatory, vertiginous, and ominous. The album opens with an unrelenting wall of sound that surges forward in a startling jolt of mechanical screeches and insect choruses that are more electrical than natural. López ramps the volume and bass equilization of these sounds up to a tumultuous crescendo of furious noise some five or six minutes later, only to abruptly cut to a quiet murky wash of miasmic swirling. Come to think of it, these strategies have much more in common with Illusion Of Safety or The Hafler Trio than the sensorially smooth transitions that have become so prominent in recent López works (especially in the "Belle Confusion" series). Regardless of any precedents, "Addy En Elpais De Las Frutas Y Los Chunches" definitely qualifies as one of López' masterpieces. Aquarius Records website (USA, 2003)

Francisco López "Addy en el pais de las frutas y los chunches" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2002)
On the subject of older López works it's nice to see an older release of his out again. 'Addy' was released in 1997 by the ND label (whatever happened to them?) in an edition of 500 copies and was one of the first Francisco López CDs to appear and has been out of print for quite some time. Like 'Wasps' this is López on a mission. Many of his 'Untitled' works are pieces of studio music, in which López doesn't want to tell you anything about his sources or motivations - it's what ever you decide with them. In just a few works, 'Wasps' but also 'La Selva' or 'Buildings [New York]' he lets us in on the recorded subject; so is the case with 'Addy'. Like 'La Selva' it contains recordings made in the Costa Rican rainforest. It would be easy to mistake this music for New Age, but it's not. López records the sounds of the rain forest, but he treats them in the studio. In the title piece he builts a collage of sounds, with sudden changes (something that you won't see him doing on his recent works) and movements. The long piece 'Piloconsor, Tres Mitocondrias Y Lucha Por El Liquido Emporante' forcasts the later López work of sheer inaudibility whereas the final piece sounds like a true López piece: dark drone like sounds of (maybe) wind blowing or a heavily processed (probably not) rainfall. 'Addy' is indeed a great work, which is good to see re-issued. It displays the various sides of López' work, nature recordings and silence and should be a good introduction for anyone. (FdW) Vital Magazine (The Netherrlands, 2003)

Francisco López "Addy en el pais de las frutas y los chunches" (CD - Alien8 Recordings, 2002)
all the sounds on this cd come from field recordings made by lópez, a spanish scientist and sound researcher, in costa rica. he is an anti-structuralist with a goal of "reaching an ideal of absolute concrète music" and a modus operandi of exploring the "universe of >broad-band noise" which surrounds us. his take on this however can be somewhat startling! the second track, snappily titled "piloconsor, tres mitocondrias y la lucha por el liquido emporante" or "piloconsor, three mitochondrions and the fight for the emporant liquid" weighs in at a little over 25 minutes and is pretty much inaudible. well if you want to set the volume at 10 then weird fluttering sounds escape from the speakers but that's pretty much hit. it does have an undoubted charm about and is an interesting experiment into environmental recordings. maybe not so much fun if you shelled out 12 notes for it, from a limited budget. mine was, however, free and >from that stand point, i love the track. as an example of the absence of sound, what is left out, being more important than the selection of sounds that go to form the finished track. the other two tracks, again with hilariously long titles, are coherent and more audible assemblages from lópez's extensive range of costa rican field recordings. there are some thirty locations listed on the sleeve. these include the poas, arenal and irazu volcanoes, the tapanti, monteverde and rara avis reserves, the la selva biological station, the braulio carrillo, rincon de la vieja, toruguero, cahuita and corcovado national parks plus a number of city locations including san jose, puerto viejo & san pedro. sounds float or pour from the speakers. the noise of a thousand insects clashes with the sound of tumbling water which in turn battles with the ominous rumbling of an erupting volcano. if you want a reference point, i would direct you towards jim o'rourke's 'rules of reduction' 3" cd on metamkine. but with the mechanical and man made noises of o'rourke's paris field recordings, substituted for the insectoid and elemental sounds of (lópez's) costa rica. www.kingwho.com (2004)